In the landmark De Capitani case delivered on Thursday 22 March, the EU’s General Court requires the European Parliament to publish legislative negotiation documents (known by EU insiders as the “trilogue four-column document”) not only fully, but also immediately.
Today European Ombudsman O’Reilly presented the outcomes of her own-initiative inquiry of the transparency of Council preparatory bodies in the negotiation of EU legislative acts. Significantly, the Ombudsman found instances of maladministration, which signifies the strongest sanction her office can provide.
The European Ombudsman’s concludes her inquiry with the observation that the current way in which the legislative procedure in the Council is set out, it is impossible for citizens to have timely access to sufficient information on the general development of legislative dossiers and specific inputs offered by the different member states. The Ombudsman concludes that:
“[T]he Council of the EU – through practices that inhibit the scrutiny of draft EU legislation – undermines citizens’ right to hold their elected representatives to account. This constitutes maladministration.”
The Court of Justice of the EU dismisses in full the Council’s appeal against an earlier judgement in the much publicised Access Info Europe case.
The long awaited judgement of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the Access Info Europe appeal was finally handed down last week, on 17 October. After losing a case against Access Info Europe (AIE) in front of the lower General Court, the Council appealed. The CJEU now has found that the General Court’s judgement was correct and must therefore be upheld. In total, three separate pleas in law filed by the Council were refuted.
On Monday 16 September, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU circulated a questionnaire concerning the effects of open meetings.